This Tool Tells You The Best Viewing Time For the Solar Eclipse In Your Area

published Aug 18, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: kdshutterman)

Have you heard there’s a solar eclipse happening on Monday? The “path of totality” — where the moon will completely block the sun— is cutting right across the continental US, for what will be the first time in 38 years. But even if you’re not in total eclipse territory, chances are, you’ll still be able to see something. This tool will tell you the best time to get outside and check out the astronomical event, no matter where you are.

If you’re staying put (accommodations in the total eclipse path have been selling out—some even a few years in advance), the Navy has a neat little tool to tell you when your area will have the best view of the celestial show.

To find out when to set your alarm clock, just plug in your state, city, and elevation, and it’ll tell you when the eclipse begins, the best time to check it out, and when it will be over. The tool uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, so be sure to convert to your local time!

It’ll also tell you the percent obscuration you’ll see, the total duration of the eclipse, and its magnitude.

Here is an example of maximum eclipse times for a few cities:

  • Boston, MA: 2:46:51 PM EDT
  • New York, NY: 2:45:04 PM EDT
  • Washington, DC: 2:42:49 PM EDT
  • Chicago, IL: 1:19:43 PM CDT
  • Austin, TX: 1:10:18 PM CDT
  • Los Angeles, CA: 10:20:56 AM PDT
  • San Francisco, CA: 10:15:11 AM PDT
  • Seattle, WA: 10:20:54 AM PDT

For more information on the eclipse (including how to watch it online), check out this handy post:

And if you miss it, don’t worry: There will be another total eclipse viewable in the US as soon as 2024.